The Third Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court, determined the release executed by plaintiff in this workplace injury case precluded a contribution action by a defendant which was not a party to the release, but did not preclude an action for common-law indemnification:
In 2016, plaintiff was allegedly injured while working at a commercial construction site. Plaintiff accepted $2,000 in settlement of his claims against third-party defendants, Village Air and Electric, Inc. and Jimerico Construction, Inc. — his employer and the contractor that retained it to do work at the construction site, respectively — and executed a release agreeing to hold them harmless. He then commenced this action against defendant, another contractor whose employees had allegedly caused the condition that led to his injuries. Defendant answered and impleaded Village Air and Jimerico, claiming that it was entitled to contribution and/or indemnification.
Jimerico moved … to dismiss the third-party complaint on the ground that the release executed by plaintiff defeated the contribution and indemnification claims (see CPLR 3211 [a] ; General Obligations Law § 15-108) … .
… [T]he release executed by plaintiff “relieve[d] [Jimerico] from liability to any other person for contribution” pursuant to CPLR article 14 and, as a result, Supreme Court should have dismissed defendant’s contribution claim against Jimerico (General Obligations Law § 15-108 [b] …). In contrast, Jimerico’s “settlement with . . . plaintiff did not preclude [defendant] from seeking common-law indemnification from” it … . Koretnicki v Northwoods Concrete, Inc., 2020 NY Slip Op 03445, Third Dept 6-18-20